Glynn Academy’s softball team has started their season on a roll under third-year coach Dawn Ketcham.
They’ve rallied off four straight wins after starting the season off with two straight losses.
“The girls are doing a great job of buying into what we have going on,” Ketcham said. “They are really coming together as a team. This year, we are a small team. We have 10 for junior varsity and 10 for varsity but everyone is working hard to get us to come together and make the varsity team better.”
For many, 10 players might seem like a struggle to get quality performances out of players.
Before COVID-19, Ketcham liked having her roster size around 11 players as she found it to be the perfect number for her. This year she has had to make do with the small roster size.
“Right now, with us having so much sickness that travels around with everybody,” Ketcham said. “The fact that we also have a few injuries that have come up, a couple of extra girls would have been great. That was just the number that we had come out, so that’s what we had to work with.”
Glynn Academy has made the most of its small roster size as the season has progressed into the last month of regular season play. Ketcham knows her players are fundamentally sound both offensively and defensively. All it took was meshing personalities and clicking as a group.
“I think we are finally getting to the point where we are seeing that click,” Ketcham said of her team. “Over the summer, nothing is mandatory it’s all optional. I understand because it’s time for families to go on vacation, it’s when they go to softball camps and travel teams finish up their seasons. It’s really hard for us in July when we need to start coming together, it’s hard for us to get everyone there. It took a minute to see how we were going to play as a team,”
“It could have taken a lot more than two games, but those first two games were kind of ugly. Once the girls realized what their roles were going to be, I think that they’ve seen what they are going to do and where they are going to be, this is what we need to make happen.”
The players have bought into their roles under Ketcham as she has her players play specific roles under her.
A few of the specific players that have seen improvement over the course of the season are ones who started the season with the junior varsity team.
“We have had a couple of players that were on the JV team to start with, and they have stepped it up,” Ketcham said. “I’m carrying them and they are playing some JV time, but they have stepped it up enough that I’m also carrying them with the varsity team. Which has helped with us having some girls that have been sick or injured, it’s like, ‘OK good we got a little cushion here if we need it.”
The three players that Ketcham named are Olivia DeRon (OF), Skylar Wilborn (C, SS), and Bella Theus (utility). Those three, as Ketcham says, are willing to do whatever they need to do to make the team better.
Having a small roster has given the players a chance to be close and build relationships off the field. It all starts with the six seniors that have been together for quite some time now.
“They are used to playing together,” Ketcham said about her six seniors. “They are on the field the whole time, they are comfortable with each other. They are comfortable with each other and they know what each other can do.”
Glynn Academy returns to Wainwright Field to take on the Statesboro Blue Devils at 5 p.m. Wednesday night